ON FRIDAY night my partner Carley and I made the dreaded flight to Europe.
It was the first time both of us have travelled to Europe so we weren’t sure what to expect.
I left work in Tongala at 1:45pm after an early finish for the last day of term and then spent the next 30 hours travelling and waiting around.
Echuca to Bendigo.
Bendigo to Melbourne.
Melbourne to Dubai.
Dubai to Prague.
I slept okay on the plane to Dubai and at the time felt like I was coping well with the travel.
The food however was doing my head in, there were four plane meals and one airport meal and my body wasn’t sure what was going on. I think I had breakfast three times in the space of six hours.
When we finally arrived in Prague I went for a little shake out jog. The last run I did was at 6am on the Friday morning before work and I was keen to get out and move the legs after sitting for so long.
I had a quick glance of a map and thought I knew where I was going, but it turned out I didn’t. I tried to run around to get my bearings and then the heavens opened and I got drenched.
After our winter back home I thought I was leaving the wet weather behind in Echuca.
I soon realised it was quite hilly in our area and the footpaths were pretty sketchy with cobblestones.
At the end of the run I rolled my ankle on a hole in the footpath but it was all good.
I’ve rolled a few ankles in my day and knew it wasn’t a serious one.
A couple of days of soreness and I’d be right.
It was a bit of a scare though, with the line ‘getting to the start line of a marathon fit is the hardest challenge’ drummed through my head.
The next day Carley, who is also running the marathon (not a bad one for a debut) and I were out the door early for a long run.
Twenty kilometres for me and 16km for her.
We jogged together to the river and then agreed to meet back at our starting point in 90minutes.
The next 90 minutes blew my mind.
I’ve run 20km plenty of times in my life, but this one was pretty unique.
There were some old buildings to look at and a decent river, even a castle, however, their running tracks were ordinary.
Most of the run was on cobblestones which mucked with my legs, and there was a lot of stop/starting to avoid getting hit by a car.
I tried looking everywhere and it took me about 13km to find a decent park that I could run around that wasn’t cobblestones.
In the end I saw some sights and ticked off Prague as a city in that 90 minutes.
In the afternoon I went looking again for a place that would be good to run around and to do a fast 5km, which was on the menu for Monday.
I found a nice river track near our Airbnb but it was only 800m of good surface so it didn’t pass the test – runners’ problems.
Monday we decided to tram it to the half decent park I found the day before to do my hard 5km session.
Carley came along to do some sketching in the park which was good, to have some company.
Most people don’t realise, but it’s pretty important to have a good spot for a faster session.
I’d be moving at around 20km/h and you need somewhere where you don’t have to think too much and you can trust the path and be safe.
When we got to the park we were both pretty surprised about its upkeep. There was graffiti and rubbish everywhere and it was pretty quiet, the only people there were people with their dogs off the leash doing what they wanted, including just dropping their guts everywhere.
It was an eerie place to be and I was keen to get my run done and get out of there.
It gave us both a great appreciation of our councils and how well they maintain the places in which we exercise.
My 5km session went well. I was a bit unsure of it leading in as my legs were a bit sore from the day before and I was feeling sluggish after the flight but I hit the time I needed to hit – no stress and a good confidence boost.
Overall it’s been a bit strange to be on holidays and also having to run a marathon at the end of the week.
We’ve tried to see a few sights but at the same time are trying to look after our legs, relaxing and not staying on our feet too much.
It’s been hard at stages though, walking through touristy areas and seeing the tourists drinking massive beers and eating big sausages.
From here we head to Berlin on Wednesday and then it will seem more like ’we’re running a marathon’ and the body will start to feel better.
Over and out.